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S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 All 5-Screw & Vintage 4-Screw SWING-OUT Cylinder REVOLVERS, and the 35 Autos and 32 Autos


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Old 08-04-2010, 01:00 PM
Michael Petrov Michael Petrov is offline
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Default A vintage 22-32

Not sure what model you folks call this, I've just called it a 32-22.



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Old 08-05-2010, 10:18 AM
dinghysailer dinghysailer is offline
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That appears to be what S&W called at the time the 22/32 Heavy Frame Target. I would guess it shipped before 1922 or so, probably 1918 to 1920.

There are two things that are not quite right. First is the hammer seems to have been chopped or broken off.

The second is the stocks, which are not what I'm familiar with on this model, but look like those on a Regulation Police. The typical stocks on this model covered the rear grip strap, & had two screws (see photo below).

At the end of WWI, things were a little erratic at S&W, as they resumed civilian production strange things happened as they mixed and matched old parts, and took some short cuts, such as not stamping the S&W logo on the frame.

This is mine, shipped in 1915, before the US entered the war. It is pretty typical, worked hard (& poorly photographed)



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Old 08-05-2010, 11:24 AM
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Michael, welcome to the forum. I love the prewar .22/32 S&Ws, both the longer barrel target models and the smaller Kit Guns.

Alan is correct about the broken hammer. You could probably find an adequate replacement for that one without too much trouble if you were so inclined. And yes, those are not the usual extension stocks seen on a .22/32 Target Revolver. They are, however, the stocks that S&W put on their .32 Regulation Police Target Revolver (same frame exactly, aside from the rimfire/centerfire configuration.)

A. Niedner is probably Albert Niedner, born 1899. The other Niedners with a first name beginning with A. that I found were dead by the time this gun was shipped.

Looks to be in good shape, but the exposed end of the hammer stud on the left side of the gun looks just a little flat to me. That sometimes happens when a gun is polished before being reblued. And are the screw holes in the sideplate slightly dished? If so, that would be another indicator of a refinish.

The front sight on your gun is a Sheard bead sight. This is one of several types of sight that S&W could install on target revolvers in the 'teens and 'twenties.

The patent date on the bottom of the stocks deals with the design and mounting of these square butt "Regulation Police" stocks. The basic I-frame is milled with a round butt, and the grip is small. The Regulation Police stocks are square butt, longer and larger. The back of the revolver frame is "rebated" (stepped) so the wood panels can cover the lower half of the backstrap when installed.

Can you let us know the serial number? Use xx for the last two digits if you want to preserve some confidentiality. I'm guessing this gun would be somewhere between 275000 and 310000.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:37 AM
Tam 3 Tam 3 is offline
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Adolph O. Niedner had a gunsmithy in Malden Mass. according to Brophy in his Springfield book on pages 86 an 87. The same source exhibits a target rifle that he made in 1934.

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Tam 3
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Old 08-05-2010, 01:03 PM
Michael Petrov Michael Petrov is offline
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Thanks for the info everyone. I should get a letter on it someday.

A.O. Niedner was a well know gunsmith of the day, he worked from 1906-1920 in Malden, Mass. He then moved to Dowagiac, Mich and worked there from 1920-1940.

I don't do X's ;-)......270925... No refinish IMO, of course it looks like he hit his stamp with a 5 pound hammer.

Last edited by Michael Petrov; 08-05-2010 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:21 PM
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My friend Michael is the leading authority on pre-WWII American custom gunmakers. I teased him that the S&W folks would find his revolver "disfigured" and that a non-factory name stamp would grossly devalue it.

He owns it because of the Niedner connection of course, and has original workbooks, many artifacts and several of Niedner's firearms. Michael and his artifacts represent a vertiable museum of American firearms knowledge.

And surprising to me, Niedner's 22/32 looks great with the one-screw grips although I'd probably replace the hammer...
Another friend of ours has a Niedner marked S&W single shot .22.

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Old 08-05-2010, 03:31 PM
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Michael has an excellent book entitled, _Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century_, published by Precision Shooting, Inc. I wish he would write a companion volume on Custom Pistolsmiths of the 20th Century.

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Kevin Williams
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:30 PM
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Foolish of me to assume that was an owner-engraved mark on the gun; it didn't occur to me a firearms dealer would mash his shop's name into a product he was selling. I hadn't heard of Niedner; I guess I needed to have read books like the ones I now know Michael wrote.

Sorry I didn't know your name, Michael. I do now!
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:43 PM
Michael Petrov Michael Petrov is offline
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Kevin, Steven, David, Thanks for all the kind words.

Niedner did not sell retail firearms so I suspect that this was his S&W. He did a lot of pistol work such as replacing barrels and the like and his stamp will be found on those. I can't see where any work was done to this pistol.

David, There is no reason anyone should know my name ;-), My area of study is very narrow and rarely involves handguns.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:50 PM
Michael Petrov Michael Petrov is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwill1911 View Post
Michael has an excellent book entitled, _Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century_, published by Precision Shooting, Inc. I wish he would write a companion volume on Custom Pistolsmiths of the 20th Century.

Regards,
Kevin Williams
It would not be a very good book, most of the custom pistols aside form King & Roper I know little.

I've run across many that have been re-barreled by the likes of Niedner, Pope, Peterson and others. The majority of these were factory handguns with their barrels on them.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:14 AM
TSQUARED TSQUARED is offline
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A. O. Niedner was a famous gunsmith well known in the single shot rifle community.
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:10 PM
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The grips are of particular interest to me. I had seen photos of this revolver before but had not noticed the one-screw extension grips because they look so natural on the gun. I always thought the Beakert grips with the flared and covered backstrap looked awkward.

Is anyone familiar with these grips on a 22/32 Target?
It seems I just saw another Target with these grips?

When I made custom grips for my own cut-down target I used this style without medallions. (it originally had two-screw Beakert grips).

BTW, this is my own copyrighted photo!
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Old 08-06-2010, 02:39 PM
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Those stocks are or should I say can be original to the gun. S&W originally supplied the .22/32 Heavy Frame Target with the oversized two screw stocks as discussed in early replies, however, at some point they discontinued those and the guns came with the regulation police style. IIRC they went back to the two screw style later in production.

I have three of these in my collection, 2 with the oversize and one with the regulation police style stocks.

Mine are 163467, 270836 and 384570. These are also referred to as the "Bekeart" style revolvers as gun dealer Phillip Bekeart was instrumental in having S&W build a .22 on a .32 frame.
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Old 08-06-2010, 03:36 PM
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I don't think there original to the gun, in fact I don't think they were made by S&W, knowing the work that SDH can do I think he made them for that gun .
H. M. Pope
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Petrov View Post
.... He did a lot of pistol work such as replacing barrels and the like and his stamp will be found on those....
Niedner is also credited with the actual fabrication of the very first front sight for an inventor by the name of Eugene Patridge.

Among Niedner's more notable accomplishments, I'd think the development of the cartridge we now know as the .25-06 probably ranks near the top....

Mark
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Old 08-06-2010, 06:11 PM
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I'm flattered Harry, but I've never made a set with medallions and only do grips as a hobby. Just received my second set of KB Grips! Keith does a Much nicer job!

wheelgun, I always though the name 'patridge' came from plinkin' grouse out the widow of the sedan, downeast?
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:33 PM
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I think a connection to AO Nieder makes this one fine collectors piece. Nieder was well known and very progressive thinking.
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Old 08-08-2010, 09:24 AM
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i have a 22/32 with the same hammer problem,any help locating one would be greatly appreciated. thanks alex
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:26 PM
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Default bobbed hammer

my 22/32 hft #238639 has the same hammer modification. while i was shopping for it i saw several others like it. i posted a question here quite some time ago if anyone knew if this was a fad thing or whether the hammer might be hanging up on the flour sack when they went to "yank it". can anyone with an original hammer offer an opinion as to whether the hammer might have been able to pinch down on hand meat while being fired? other than the hammer and a chip in the grip mine is like new with only the barest of turn ring (well you can see it better now). this makes me think it was something done either at s&w or at least prior to starting its life as a tool.
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Old 08-08-2010, 04:19 PM
Michael Petrov Michael Petrov is offline
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I've had this S&W for about twenty years, it was like that when I got it so I've left it alone.

I have seen one other with the same hammer and I figured if Niedner had "Broken" it he would have fix it.
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Old 08-09-2010, 08:31 AM
Timb1 Timb1 is offline
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I do believe the very early guns all came with this style hammer. I have seen a few of these that were new in the box with the same hammer.

Dropping one of these guns hard enough to break the spur off would leave more damage on the outside, so when seeing these hammers that are on 99% guns I have to believe that they are correct. Also I would have to think that if the spur was broken of due to being dropped it would cause damage to the hammer stud and one would notice some binding in the action.

Tim
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Old 08-09-2010, 09:21 AM
dinghysailer dinghysailer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefly View Post
my 22/32 hft #238639 has the same hammer modification. while i was shopping for it i saw several others like it. i posted a question here quite some time ago if anyone knew if this was a fad thing or whether the hammer might be hanging up on the flour sack when they went to "yank it". can anyone with an original hammer offer an opinion as to whether the hammer might have been able to pinch down on hand meat while being fired? ...
#2251xx doesn't see to have that problem (photo above), but it has the Bekeart type grips. The Regulation Police grips would make it easier for the hand to slip up and be pinched in double action. Is this bobbed hammer common on Regulation Polices?
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:50 PM
smitholdtimer smitholdtimer is offline
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Default With regard to the "Hammer"

I have read, with much interest, this post and have a similar story concerning the .22/.32 hammer. I have an old post Bechart era Heavy Target that doesn't have a pedigree, meaning there is nothing in the records about it ever leaving the factory. This was so disappointing to me that I traded this revolver and forgot about it. Next show I attended, there it was for sale, I examined it and noticed that the hammer spur was gone, missing so the owner reduced the selling price and I owned it once more but this time it was disfigured. Searched for a replacement and finally a fellow forum member had one and offered. Upon receipt of said hammer, I found that it was not a drop in fit, single action but no double action, so I just let it sit and in the meantime, the seller who had the misfortune of breaking the hammer found the portion of spur that had broken off and gave it to me. Lucked on to another forum member selling some I frame parts including the hammer, this one is a drop in perfect fit and also had the "Made In USA" stamped as did the original. From my experience and from reading this post, I have to believe the hammer spur may be a weak point on these little revolvers. Knowing the labor involved in welding and re-checkering plus the case hardening, this would be a very expensive fix unless you are the qualified person and its your revolver. Apologize for the lengthy post, wanted to say it more concisely but didn't work out.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:34 AM
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Default grips

I am the current owner of this revolver, the barrel is a S&W replacement barrel, the hammer was bobbed, & the regulation police grips are original to the revolver, per S&W History Letter from Roy Jinks.
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Old 04-07-2021, 01:33 PM
Hondo44 Hondo44 is offline
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Very nice ".22/32 Heavy Frame Target Model of 1915".


The bobbed hammer:

There is an inordinate amount of HFTs found with these bobbed hammers. So I’ve always felt there was something more to this than dropped/broken hammer spurs. Those short spurs, some are very short and roughly ‘dressed down’ or not touched at all are clearly broken, but too many show craftsmanship in the bobbing. Now we have proof that at least one is intentional, albeit not factory. This gun #270925 shipped April 14, 1919 and is discussed here by a former owner: http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-han...#post140881339

I know the pre war I frame spurs were a bit humped, curled down, and difficult to cock, especially post war after the leaf main spring was changed to the coil spring becoming the Improved I frame in 1952. The Model of 1953 redesigned hammer spur resolved the puny spur issue. I‘ve never handled a HFT with a bobbed hammer but am curious if it handles better than with full and curved standard type spur.


The stocks:

The stocks are the standard issue for that period HFT. And original if the serial # on the back of the right grip matches the gun. They were not installed as a production "speed up" after the war because an extra milling operation was required to rebate the grip frame for them. These unique new design rd butt to sq butt conversion stocks were introduced new in 1917 on the .32 & .38 Regulation Police models.

• From the HFT 1911 introduction to prior to WW I, .22/32 Heavy Frame Target models were supplied with two screw extended target stocks as standard.

Above serial number ~258000 (right after WW I), the standard HFT stocks were replaced with Regulation Police stocks on a rebated grip frame, at first with recessed gold plated brass medallions in the late 'teens. Checkered two-screw extension target stocks with gold plated brass medallions in ‘dished’ stock circle tops became optional** after WWI until 1920 on I frames, and they became standard again by order Aug. 29, 1923 and w/o medallions until change order 2/11/1929 reinstated medallions; flat silvers.


**Target stocks on a rebated grip frame are a dead giveaway that they were spl ordered during the period that RP stocks were standard on HFTs, or if the serial # doesn't match the gun, swapped aftermarket.


• Walnut Target extended two screw stocks, introduced beginning with the Model 1891 single shot, and in 1904 on the .32 Model 1903-1st Change along with standard size Walnut stocks, which were optional plain and checkered, with ‘dished’ stock circle; gold medallions beginning only after 1910.

• ~ 1920 Medallions eliminated from walnut stocks. Gold plated over brass recessed stock medallions were used on all stocks to 1920. Used earlier in ‘dished’ topped premium stocks like MOP, stag and ivory thru to the war, but were not used on wood stocks until 1910 or 1920 thru 1930. Premium stock tops remained dished and concave.
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bekeart, cartridge, checkering, engraved, gunsmith, hardening, patridge, prewar, rimfire, roper, round butt, sideplate, springfield, wwi, wwii

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